For most of us, SEO is some kind of amorphous concept shrouded in mystery. When we think of SEO tips, we imagine an army of freelancers sitting across the world and negotiating with these pesty search engine bots.
Search engine bots are really tough negotiators…
I’m here to debunk search engine optimization once and for all. For the next few posts, we are going to cover all the basic techniques that you need to know to make your site rank high on Google.
Let’s dive in.
On Page? Off Page? What’s the Difference?
In order to talk about SEO tips, we need to first cover on-page and off-page.
On page SEO – this is everything that has to do with optimizing your website pages and content to show up on search engines. Some things that you can do in this category are optimizing your tags, titles, URLs and keywords.
Off page SEO – this area of SEO has to do with your site’s ranking and all of the metrics that affect it that don’t have to do with the content on your page. These things include domain age, domain ranking, backlinks, and page rank.
Today we are going to focus on on-page SEO tips, because this is where SEO beginners should naturally start. Here are a few simple tips and tools to help get you up to speed:
Optimize your URLs
Start every single URL with your keyword. If your blog post is titled “5 top organic dog food that your dog should eat in 2018” and your keywords are “organic pet food 2018 your URL should be: www.yoursite.com/blog/organic-pet-food-2018.
Start Title Tag with Your Keyword
Your title tag is one of the most important elements of every page because this is how the search engine reads and categorizes your title. When people search for something your title makes a HUGE difference for page results.
Improve your Meta Description
The meta description is perhaps the second most important factor of your on-page SEO. This is the descriptions that searchers see when they search for something. Here are a couple of tips on how to make the best meta description for your page:
- It should be around 130 to 160 characters
- It should be actionable and have a hook that grabs the viewer’s attention
- It should include a call-to-action
- It should match the content and contain the keywords
Don’t make a generic one, every meta description should be unique
Use Headline Tags
Headline tags are the different sizes of your fonts (h1, h2, h3, h4, etc). Always use just one H1 tag – and use it for your title. Search engines look for the H1 tag. It’s the pizza to their Netflix.
Include your keywords in the headline tags but don’t just keep repeating the same one. Use variations, change it up, spice these keywords up a bit. Most importantly, make sure that all your headlines are natural. Write for the reader, not the search engine.
Optimize Your Images
Images make an incredible addition to SEO and not too many people know how to optimize them. Turns out, search engines don’t read the name of your image, they actually read the “alt text”. So make sure that when you upload an image, put your keywords in the alt text tag of your image, every single time.
Also, don’t forget to reformat your images to make sure it’s a small enough size so it won’t slow down the loading speed of your site.
Don’t forget about Keywords
Use a paid SEO tool or Google Adwords (free) to look up the best keywords to rank for. Make sure to use long-tailed keywords instead of short ones. Here is what I mean.
The term “pet food” is very highly used and hard to rank for. Instead, target “best pet organic pet food for french bulldogs 2017” or some combination of a few keywords. The less demand there is for a keyword the higher chances your site will rank for them.
Internal & External Links
Make sure that every article you write has external and internal links. Search engines like it when your content is well connected to other content on your site, to show that your stuff makes sense. Engines also like it when you display relevant links to other top high quality and popular content on the web.
Boost Site Speed
Site speed is more important than people think. According to MunchWeb, 75% of users wouldn’t come back to a site if it took longer than 4 seconds to load. Use tools that check the speed of your site and make some adjustments to make your site load faster.
Write Long Form Content
Another SEO tips, content is crucial. But most people misunderstand and think that the more content the better. That’s not actually true. Turns out, search engines rank your posts depending on their length. Somewhere between 1900 and 2500 words is ideal as this awesome graph from Backlinko illustrates:
On-page SEO is what you can control and if you follow these simple steps then you will see a huge change in your rankings.
Optimize your title tag, meta description, and alt text tag of all your images. Don’t forget to write longer form content of about 1800-2500 words each. Also, make sure that your site loads really fast.
Pro Tip: make a quick list of every SEO tips requirement and change that you want to see happen for each post that is published on your site. Then send it out to each person on your content and web design team.
Here is a neat infographic from Backlinko that summarizes some of the tips that we discussed for you. Enjoy!